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The One Where The Overlords Talk About The Divisive MCU Captain America

By Jodi Smith | Think Pieces | March 9, 2018 |

By Jodi Smith | Think Pieces | March 9, 2018 |


captainHANDSOMEamerica.jpg

After mentioning that I had just finished Thor Ragnarok and that it, of all movies, had a scene that brought me to tears, an all-out Marvel nerd discussion broke out among the Overlords. We started ranking the MCU movies, expressing the subjective nature of putting them in order, and then? Then Ursula dropped this bomb:

“….I really hate Captain America.”

Then Emily gave Ursula her boring sword and IT WAS ON.

TK - I absolutely love Captain America. All of them. Everything he’s in. He’s probably my favorite MCU character. Which is ironic, because he’s one of my least favorite Marvel comic characters. Maybe it’s not that I love him, as much as I love what they do in his movies.

Jodi - I have Winter Soldier as my number one because when all is said and done, that one will stand alone as a gorgeous spy and intrigue flick that doesn’t really need the universe around it.

Ursula - I think (???) I made it through all of Winter Soldier? Maybe? Didn’t care for it either. I just think Captain America is so fucking boring. zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Jodi - Movie Cap is wonderful because he’s kind of boring. I don’t need everyone to make everything a joke, turn into green monsters, struggle with mystic powers etc. I need someone in there who’s here to make a difference while putting their issues further back than the rest. Obviously, his relationship with Bucky becomes the main plot point, but he’s not having hissy fits because of how his life ended up.

Steven - Being a good man in a time of evil is a lot harder than being a gritty and edgy one.

Ursula - To me it isn’t even that. He’s boring, yes. But he’s also a basic bitch. He’s the plain white sliced bread of the bunch. He’s the color beige. He has no substance. Besides his butt. I don’t need him to be edgy. Him being interesting would be nice. But he’s not even that.

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TK - Movie Cap is basically Marvel’s Superman. Just a genuine hero who wants to do right. And a lot of people find that boring, but I don’t for some reason. I find it fascinating. No pathos, no demons. Just a good guy who wants to do right. There’s a lot of parallels between him and Black Panther. I don’t love the recent Superman efforts, but I do like the character.

Emily - Doesn’t Cap pretty continually complain about how his life turned out though? I mean, he’s still showing up for the job, and I think there’s a shitton of punchbags that might attest to his general funk. Also, Cap putting aside all of his beliefs and loyalties in order to save his buddy, who was a legit brainwashed terrorist, seems a little off.

TK - … not really? I’m not sure where that comes from.
He’s not particularly whiny.

Jodi - When pushed, he might unload, but it isn’t whiny. His first loyalty is to Bucky. He knows who is inside that brainwashed soldier and feeling responsible for what he thought was his death makes him desperate to make it right. It’s not out of character or even, in my opinion, wrong for him to risk everything for Bucky. Only Bucky can understand Cap in a way no one else can.

TK - Part of what (I think) makes Cap interesting is that despite being called Captain America, he really stands more for what is right, than for any perceived “American values”. It’s what essentially caused Civil War - the idea that he doesn’t trust higher authorities to make the right call.

Emily - Bucky’s completely a pawn, and definitely doesn’t deserve what was done to him. And also at times could morph into a nearly unstoppable killing machine over which Bucky has no control. He shouldn’t be killed, but he absolutely needs to be locked up.

Jodi - The same could be said for Hulk, but he gets a pass. Cap is surrounded by people but lonely. No one else is well past the age where they should be dead. No one else missed all of their friends dying while they were frozen. No one else thought they were out, only to be pulled back into heroism decades later.

Steven - He contains a sadness, a deep and abiding loneliness of having lost everything and everyone he cared about. And he sees himself and Bucky as foils: Captain always the good soldier and following orders, and here his best friend who has also always been following orders. His crime is that he was made to follow the orders of evil men, even while Cap realizes that the orders he has been following come from an organization just as evil and corrupt. Winter Soldier breaks the notion for him of following orders. Civil War’s proposition of, oh, we just need a _different_ set of people not on the frontlines telling us what to do and step one is kill your friend.

At face value, there is a criticism to be made of Captain rejecting oversight and accountability being out of character, but I think it’s perfectly in line with the lessons of Nuremberg and the Tree on the River speech. He’s saying that the accountability is always with the person who has power, and pushing it up the chain will always lead again to men giving evil orders as their organizations are corrupted. It’s not about rejecting accountability but embracing it.

Jodi - Others have had to find their way as heroes. Cap was a hero before he got super soldiered up. He doesn’t have to think about what’s right - he knows. The others have had to come to terms with how to be a hero.

Emily - I mean, I’m in pretty full favor of not following orders just because they’re orders and not averse to the idea that governments are corrupt. But I’m also not in favor of acting stupidly. And outside of how Cap feels about Bucky, their shared connection, and the blamelessness of Bucky in his own situation, the questions remains: What the fuck’s the plan, Cap?

Jodi - To do what he’s always done: put himself on the line to save others. To be a force of good in the world, regardless of personal cost. To use what he’s been given to tip the scales further in favor of good. To save those who cannot save themselves. He seems boring because he’s not looking for approval. He’s not making a super suit because he has daddy issues. I don’t need him to be someone that grows into his role. I just need him to do it. But I understand other people’s position on him as well.

TK - Honestly, the worst character in the MCU is probably Tony Stark. EVERY SINGLE DECISION he makes ends up being an absolute dog fuck.



Jodi Smith is the Associate Trade News Editor at Pajiba. You can email her or follow her on Twitter.



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